Archive for Training

Shedding Light on Lighting Terminology

What is a PAR64 LED Can with Barndoors?
As we were getting together the equipment for an event last week, someone looked at the kit list and asked “what does PAR64 LED Can with Barndoors mean?”. Although my initial reaction was to point quizzically at the pile of lighting units sitting on the trolley, after a moments thought, I realized that we use such terms every day without really knowing what they mean.

Parabolic Aluminized Reflector
The first part is simple: PAR means Parabolic Aluminized Reflector, which refers to the type of bulb used in the lighting unit, or luminare, as they often referred to in theaters and film making. A parabolic aluminized reflector lamp (also known as PAR light, PAR can, Parcan or simply PAR) is the type of light which has a reflector behind the filament, with the reflector shaped in a parabola. This is so that a substantial portion of the available light is projected forward in a parallel beam, similar to the headlights used in cars. In the lighting world PAR normally refers to a one piece light like a car’s sealed beam headlight. The number indicates the diameter of the housing in eighths of an inch, so a PAR64 is eight inches in diameter.

High Power Light Emitting Diodes
Just to make things interesting, as we are now using more Light Emitting Diode (LED) based lighting rigs, it is sometimes possible to see descriptions like “Par64 Can with LEDs”, PAR64 LED Can or LED PAR64. This refers to an eight inch diameter can fitted with LED based light source. LEDs have the advantage of consuming much less electrical power than a filament based equivalent, but the down size is that on average you need twice as many to provide the same light. Another advantage of LED Lighting is that you can control the colour of the light dynamically. This is achieved by having either lots of Red, Blue and Green high power LEDs in a close matrix, or the more expensive alternative of fewer high power three colour LEDs.

Colour Wash The Stage
Traditionally the effect of colours was achieved using coloured gels or filters which slot into a holder in front of the lighting can. No band gig would be complete without some red lighting, and moody Jazz gigs or huge boy-band spectaculars love the effect of a blue stage wash. These effects can be reproduced in more intimate surroundings using LED lighting, sometimes writen as RGB LED Stage Lights, which can switch colour according to the desired mood. As LED technology becomes cheap, using LED stage lights is a hot topic in the world of stage lighting.

Finally, Barndoors (or flags) are the wings (or doors!) often added to the front of lighting units where there is a need to control the area of the stage which is illuminated. We us them when setting up a stage with a display screen on each side and lighting on the presenter. This prevents light from spilling off the stage on to the projector screen and detracting from the impact of the movie, image or presentation slide being shown. Barndoors are frequently identified in terms of the cans they will fit, so a Barndoor for PAR64 Cans (or PAR64 Barndoors) means an attachment for an 8 inch lighting can. Simple really!

Common Reflector Sizes

Inches Approx mm Where Used
PAR64 8 inches 203mm Commonly used in large venues such as large churches, schools, theaters and large clubs with 500 to 1000Watt lamps. Most common as the Par64 1000W.
PAR56 7 inches 177mm Used for for touring or permanent installs in smaller venues. Maybe found in clubs, theaters, schools, fashion shows and exhibits, with 300 to 500watt lamps.
PAR46 5.75 inches 145mm Often used for shops and display stands or for small clubs, small theaters and tent lighting.
PAR36 4.5 inches 115mm Used for pin spots, with a beam angle around 5°
PAR16 2 inches 50mm Ideal for hiding in small parts of a set or along the downstage edge of the stage. Also known as a Birdie because it is smaller than a Parcan, or “One under Par”

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Platform Skills in Hong Kong

We have just completed a successful week in Hong Kong supporting Success Resources, Asia’s largest seminar company, who were promoting the Platform Skills Intensive from Christopher Howard Training. This amazing seminar takes you from wherever you are as a presenter and gives you the skills and techniques of some of the best presenters in the world.

While out there supporting Success Resources we made lots of new contacts from Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, and renewed friendships with crew from the USA. What a great way to meet people and give them to opportunity to change their lives for the better! Since arriving back in UK we have had so many friend requests on Facebook that the email in-box looks like it has been mail bombed!

If you think you might be interested in honing your platform skills, why not try our one day Presenters Introduction. This will give you some basic tools to boost your confidence when making your pitch, give that great presentation or help you nail your next job interview. Contact Bruce Thompson Events now for your Presenters Introduction

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Improve Your Presentation Skills for a Performance Difference

Have you ever watched an extraordinary presentation and wondered what made it so special? Have you ever wondered how some speakers or performers can utter a few sentences and have everyone hanging on their every word? Sometimes a presenter can make such a connection to the audience that you can feel the honesty in their message. How would you like to develop your presentation or performance skills to enable you to connect easily to your audience, and so make a difference to your performance?

Presentation skills are one of the most important skills you can hone to improve your performance and make difference to your results. These skills can benefit you in social settings, formal meetings such as the boardroom or on a public stage as a singer or stage misician. Whether you are talking to people to make them change their behavior in a supervisory setting or making a sales pitch to your customers, presentation skills are essential tools in your toolbox.

Good presenters are not necessarily born that way; the likelihood is that they have been well trained, and built up their skills over time. The simple truth is that the best presenters have had lots of practice presenting. If you want to improve your presentation skills then attending a Performance Training workshop will help you build up your skills.

We sometimes get asked about the benefits using a video camera to record presentations to aid practice. You can do this, but we advise caution, as a camera will not respond to you in the same way that a live audience will. Practice with a camera is of course essential if your chosen field will require a piece to camera. Otherwise practice to an audience, however small, and use a camera to record your performance for review later.

The top tips we give to presenters of all standards, in all jobs and vocations include the following advice:

  • Enroll in a professional training course. The environment of like-minded individuals gives you a safe environment to practice and learn good presentation habits.
  • Set Resource Anchors and fire them before you take the stage. This allows you to harness a peak emotional state, which you can invoke every time you present.
  • Take every opportunity to speak to an audience, in or out of work. The more you use your presentation skills, the easier you will find it.
  • Be hungry for feedback. Once you learn to take feedback it will help you to improve and grow as a presenter.

So what is your next step to becoming an incredible presenter? Contact Bruce Thompson Events now to make your Performance Difference

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Have You Got An Alter Ego?

Personal Performance training
Some people believe that they only have one personality, and think that they have no power to change who they are. It can limit your potential if you believe that you are all you can ever be, and that you cannot change.

Do you know someone who is extremely competitive, and maybe excels at sport? Can you picture how difficult they would be to interact with if they maintained that personality in a social setting or with their family? How about a person who was shy and retiring? Does that mean that they can never stand up and challenge a wrong when they see it?

It can easily be demonstrated that you can have a different attitude depending on circumstances; you can be generous in one scenario and thrifty in another, or timid in one environment and bold when it counts. That means that that you have the ability to chose from a number of characters, and can pick the role to suit the circumstances.

Sometimes the way we act depends on the people we are with, and our state of mind. A negative state such as frustration or anger can lead to poor behavior, while a positive state of mind can be seen to promote productive action. However, it is mistake to take this as evidence that others determine our personality. We have a choice about how we react to the presence and behavior of other people, and can chose to be negative or positive, purely at will.

To take this a stage further, as all behavior is state dependant, to be the most productive we should be energetic and enthusiastic at all times, to maintain a positive state. To get the best out of our team we should keep their spirits high by giving them an example to follow. We should take the time to ensure that they are feeling positive and valued, and that they have a clear vision of what is required to achieve success. A happy crew is a productive crew, all other things being equal.

Take On a New Personality
If you want to get yourself into a productive and empowered state, there is a technique you can use to switch easily into the roll of an Alter Ego, and take on the new personality. One of the skills we teach on our Personal Performance training is to model someone who can successfully achieve the required behavior, and to take on their personality whenever it is appropriate.

We can show you how to achieve control of your own personal emotional state, and how to change the state of others. We will train you how to establish instant rapport, so that you can persuade and influence your team, your customers or your board of directors.

We will show you how to put your ideas across so that the picture you paint of your vision is crystal clear. We will teach you mastery of tone and voice so that your words resonate with your audience, and help you bring harmony to your team. We will show you how to cement the lessons in the physiology of your audience and allow them to feel the success or live the experience in order to learn it.
We achieve this through a series of explanations, guided exercises and demonstrations, interspaced with brainstorming sessions and feedback opportunities. Our methods address the four major learning styles, and all personality types.

Currently we have the following scheduled courses for Personal Performance

  • Introduction to Personal Performance (Half day introduction)
  • Personal Performance Basics (One day intensive)
  • Personal Performance Advanced (Two day course building on the basics)

For further information about the dates for these courses, or to find out more about our Personal Performance training please click on Contact Us and send us your details.